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Transgender people slam DJ Anele of Highveld

People on the townships are being killed for variant gender expression and comments like those made by Highveld Stereo DJ Anele in a broadcast during which she made fun of Ms Universe pageant contestant, Miss Canada’s Jenna Talackova, simply exacerbates a problem which is already widespread. This was the opinion of Sibusiso Kheswa (S’bu), Advocacy Co-ordinator at Gender DynamiX speaking at the Broadcasting Complaints Commission tribunal on 5 June 2012. He said that in most cases hate crimes involving LGBTI people were not necessarily about their sexual orientation but more about their variant Gender identity and expression.

S’bu, a transman, added that although Prime Media had made an apology in a response document to the Commission, they needed to make a public apology on air. The Prime Media representative assured the BCCSA that this was a distinct possibility and that such a proposal would be made to the radio station.

 Adrienne Visser, a transgender woman from Johannesburg who brought the complaint to the broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) said it has never been okay to discuss people’s genitals on the radio. “We are not freaks,” she said. She reminded Highveld Stereo rhat she too was part of the radio station’s community as well as being transgender and said that it was hurtful and alarming to be represented in such a manner. Millions of Highveld Stereo listeners heard the dehumanising comments during which the Ms Universe contestant was referred to as an “it”.

Cape Town based artist and transgender activist Robert Hamblin explained that transgender people in South Africa are extremely vulnerable and subject to targeting especially in socio-economic challenged communities. He added that transpeople in South Africa often live in conditions of poverty because their gender presentation is “a challenge to Society and they are thus excluded from opportunities to thrive.”

Transgender and Intersex Africa board member and transman Craig Matu said that Anele’s ignorant statement validates the perception that gender is located in the genitals and this puts transpeople at risk. “When a popular DJ jests about transgender people’s genitals being examined, this is seen as acceptable behaviour and a message gets sent out that transpeople lack human qualities and it is permissible to be violent towards them,” he added.

Prime Media acknowledged that the statements were made in bad taste but did not agree that they amount to hate speech or incitement to violence. They also said that the statements were in conflict with the radio station’s values and they will abide by the recommendations of the BCCSA and the outcome of the Tribunal.

Although the BCCSA engaged earnestly with the topic and agreed that the process of the BCCSA are transparent, they were reluctant to label the statements as hate speech as they were unsure that the utterances met the legal standard definition of incitement to violence. They promised that they will release judgement that takes all positions into account.

The transgender participants pushed for an opportunity for right of reply on Anele’s show in order to educate the public about real lives of transpeople in South Africa and in so doing destabilise mythology around this.

GDX at the Gender Odyssey Family Conference PDF Print E-mail
Gender Odyssey is an international conference focused on the needs and interests of gender non-conforming and transgender people from across North America and around the world. The family conference is an annual event for families who are working to navigate the day-to-day realities of raising a gender non-conforming or transgender child. As one of the only opportunities in the USA to find valuable resources, information and networking opportunities, Gender Odyssey Family provides real tools to support and encourage gender self-discovery.

GDX Going From Strength To Strength PDF Print E-mail
Gender DynamiX (GDX), in its 6th year, held its 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cape Town on 29 October, 2011. Outgoing Chairperson, Mzi Nduna, Treasurer Margie Lagerwell and Executive Director Liesl Theron presented their annual reports which clearly set out how far GDX has come since the last AGM.
Transgender Women Call for Unity and Recognition PDF Print E-mail
Transgender women call for unity and recognition
Trans sisters raised their voices in a call for unity and recognition amongst their peers at the third leg of the Exchange Program. “We are human beings and deserve the necessary respect and recognition”.

By Leigh Ann Van der Merwe

The Exchange Program is a partnership between Gender DynamiX in South Africa and SIPD in Uganda. The program is aimed at capacitating emerging transgender activists in South Africa and the East African region. Selected participants get together twice annually to discuss relevant, burning issues on the agenda for the region. The third leg of the exchange program was hosted by SIPD, in the second week of May, in Uganda this year.

This year, Ms Beyonce  Amooti, a self-proclaimed sex worker, joined the sixteen activists in discussing transgender issues. A Ugandan national, Ms. Amooti said it is possibly one of the worst countries in which to be a transgender person. “We are not considered to be human”, said Beyonce It is a well- documented fact that transgender people are not even considered for employment opportunities. Even more so in a country like Uganda, where homo and trans phobia is rife.
Beyonce (30), said she grew up in a family of seven and knew from a young age that she was different. Says Beyonce,”I always use to wear my sisters clothing and as a result of this my father sent me away to boarding school”. Money was a problem for her family and they struggled financially. This is how she got into sex work. “During my secondary level of school, I tried to balance studying with my sex work”.
About the challenges for transgender women in Uganda, she lists HIV and Aids as a top priority of intervention. She says transgender women are not allowed to
UN Secretary General Speaks Out Against the Persecution of LGBT People PDF Print E-mail

For the first time in its history, the Secretary General of the United Nations directly addressed a United Nations Meeting specifically on the issues of sexual orientation and Gender identity when Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for an end to human rights violations based on sexuality at the January 2011 session of the UN’s Human Rights Council.


TG on Tv 23 Feb Wednesday SABC 1 PDF Print E-mail
SHIFT is educational African language talk show that aims to educate, empower and entertain. It is broadcast on SABC 1 Mon -Wed from 13h00 to 13h50.

On 23 February 2011 we will be looking at Cross Dressers and Transgender.

Issues Of Discussion:

• Definition of cross dressing and transgender.
• Stigma, prejudice and discrimination (family and society)
• Support and counseling
• Transition surgery
• Cosmetic and fashion tips
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Gender DynamiX South Africa: The first African organisation solely for the transgender communtity. Committed to provide resources, information and support to transgender people, their partners, family, employers and the public.